Starting a business is a daunting task for anyone – from the inexperienced novice to the seasoned professional. I personally had no experience in a business setting except for being exposed to small family operations at a young age.
Although I came from a family of small business owners, I did not want to follow how they operated their enterprises because I had seen too much negativity and little success. There was no human factor in any of these businesses and that was something I wanted to change.
However, because of my inexperience I had to learn as I went along. This meant taking big risks in order to reap rewards later on. I did not have any real formal training. However, I was thirsty for knowledge and had a great interest in observing.
So, when I came across an article about the theory of “first principles,” I was excited. This philosophy dates back thousands of years and is credited to Aristotle. According to Inc. magazine: “The first-principle way of thinking explains that the more we understand a subject’s fundamental principles, the more we can learn. In approaching problems, this way of thinking asks that you reject the status quo as you think about the problem from a scientific point of view.”
Looking back, I now see that my days of observing artisans closely can be described as a first principle. I would spend hours watching these master craftsmen create carpets. This was something I did out of my own curiosity long before I started my business. I was lucky enough to live in an area where artisans created carpets.
Watching their nimble fingers weave intricate patterns on the massive looms was almost hypnotic. I began to correlate the patterns that were created with the many scenes I had previously observed in nature.
By studying the very essence of carpet making – the artisans – I was able to better comprehend how to construct a business that would make a real impact in the lives of the weavers. I would not have been able to do this if I just decided to start a business without investigating these “first principles.”
Every leader can benefit from looking back at the building blocks of their organizations. Without understanding the first principles of your company, you will never get a clear picture of how you should proceed. Take the time to study the foundation and to develop a deep understanding of the first principles. Only then can you climb the steps of success and reach new heights.